BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) noted a significant increase in overdose calls throughout July in Kelowna— specifically calling the number of calls on Wednesday, July 29 “devastating.”
Paramedics responded to 12 overdose calls in the community on Wednesday – four times the daily average.
“The overdoses began shortly after midnight July 29, the first coming in 17 minutes into the day, and continued throughout until past 10 p.m. last night,” BCEHS said in a release.
Kelowna generally averages around 75 overdose calls a month but this month there have been 133 emergency calls for potential overdoses.
“Kelowna’s high numbers echo the rest of the province which has recorded a record number of overdose calls this month. Paramedics have responded to more than 2,500 overdose calls this month in B.C.”
BCEHS stressed the importance of not using drugs alone and to call 911 if you see someone who may be experiencing an overdose.
“The BC Coroner’s office reports the vast majority of overdose deaths happen when people use alone because there is no one to call 911.
“When BCEHS paramedics respond to a potential overdose patient, the patient has a more than 95 per cent chance of survival.”
Kelowna overdose calls, last three years:
- 2020 (Jan-July) 656
- 2019 869
- 2018 928
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